September 8, 1945

At Anchor off Korea

8 September 1945

Dearest Sweetheart:

It is late and I am very weary after a long tiresome day and there will be very little sleep tonight. Tomorrow will be exceedingly long and wearing. As we moved along the coast this morning we saw many many small Islands. They were really beautiful. This afternoon was filled with much activity.

We had our service again this evening and there was a very large group in attendance. I used as my scripture Galatians 5: 13-26. I have used that scripture before and perhaps you remember the message, “ Freedom. What does it mean to you?”  After the service a man came forward upon the invitation. Please pray for him and me. I talked to him for over 1 hour and a half. I’m thankful for God’s blessing. Dear, I would like to write you a better letter but I’m so weary I can hardly hold my eyes open. I’m so lonesome to have some more of your letters. God bless you, Dear.

 Yours alone and so glad to be in

 Christ’s glorious love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3: 3 

September 7, 1945

Yellow Sea

7 September 1945

Sarah, My Dearest Darling:

When we got up this morning and I looked out at the sea, I could surely understand how the Yellow Sea got its name; the water actually has a yellow cast to it. They say that is caused from the lack of depth. It only averages between 200 and 300 ft deep which was a great surprise to me. I only wish you could see it for I know you would really enjoy it.

Parade of Allied Forces held in Berlin. September 7, 1945.

  This morning and this evening we had a most beautiful sunrise and sunset. It seems that God used every color in his spectrum to paint the sunset this evening. There were just enough clouds tonight to add to all the splendor spread across the great expanse of the sky. The clouds on the horizon looked like mighty peaks of the Alps. They were the most gorgeous purple you could imagine. And above them were many curdled clouds of gold and red.

  And off to our right are many of the small islands along the coast of Korea. We sighted the first island about 2:30 this afternoon. It became fully dark before we had the opportunity to see the mainland of Korea. If we just had a full moon now things would be much nicer. But it could never never be complete without you, my Dear. 

This morning I studied and worked on my message for this evening. I used as my scripture verse Isaiah 30:15 and the title of my message was, “Rest for Strength.”  I developed it along the line that all grant that rest and food are necessary for strength physically. Then I developed the same idea on the spiritual plane and then concluded with how to rest and partake of food spiritually. There were only a little over one hundred in attendance this evening but that was to be expected in that we are so near our objective and the men are working on some details. We had to have the service down in one of the holds tonight because of a rain squall which lasted about half an hour.

  Dear, a fellow wants to see me so I will have to close for now. A little while ago I had a very nice talk with Nick Medina, he is certainly a splendid Christian man is a real testimony for Christ. God bless you my Beloved in all things. Be sure to give the folks my deepest love.

 Forever yours in Christ’s love,

 Willis

Colossians 3:3

September 6, 1945

East China Sea

Not so far from Shanghai, China

4 September 1945

My Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

This is the calmest sea I’ve ever sailed upon. However, from what I’ve heard she can really be mighty rough and dangerous, especially when a typhoon is on a rampage. Our convoy was most impressive in their movement. I never dreamed that one day I might be sailing upon such a ship so far from home and those I love.

  This morning I had my devotions and then visited with as many of the men as possible. I enjoy getting around to visit with them. I also spent some time helping one of the men who received a very discouraging letter just before we boarded ship.

Willis Baptizing men on Okinawa.

  After having my dinner I rested for almost two hours. I was so very tired after such a hot night last night. Of course, we still travel under blackout conditions and that means closing the port hole and very hot room. There was a good breeze so I rested fairly well. After that I worked on my message for this evenings service. My scripture was Daniel 6: 10-16. And the title of my message, “ You Can Take It with You.”  Using the idea that most things we are unable to take with us beyond the grave. It worked out all right and several indicated it as helpful for them. I believe there were more present this evening than last evening. One of the Navy men aboard the ship is a fine Christian and talked to me for some time. During the course of our conversation I found out that he has attended First Church Long Beach and knows Dr. Edson. He attended B.Y.F. three or four times and has been in Holly’s home for Sunday evening get togethers on two different occasions. He could hardly believe it when he found out I knew them and heard from them regularly. 

  Well, I suppose today was your first day of classes at Northern. I suppose the main thing was assignments and materials and books you will need.

  Dear, I shall try to get a good night’s sleep so I’ll close for now. God bless you my Beloved in all things.

 Yours now and ever in Christ’s love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3: 3

September 5, 1945

East China Sea

5 September 1945

Sarah, My Dearest:

  As you will note we are at sea having weighed anchor just before noon. We pulled out of Buckner Bay in the mighty blue Pacific past the Kerama Retto’s and now moving along in the calm East China Sea. Our convoy is really moving along very nicely. I only wish you could see it. After having dinner I spent a good while out on the deck watching Okinawa drop below the horizon. That is probably the last time I’ll ever see that Island unless I come by there on my way to you my Dear; and as for me, I hope that isn’t too far away. While out on deck I visited with a lot of the men and also had a good talk with Don.

Picture of sunset in Hilo Bay. Sent from Willis to Sarah.

  I spent a good share of the morning preparing my message for this evening. I used as my text I Timothy 6:7-12. The theme of my message was one word, “Building.”  When we think of building we think of planning;  and planning means seeking the wisdom of one who knows thoroughly the field in which we are desirous of building. Therefore, we who know man’s whole duty of glorifying God ought to go to Him who knows us all together. It worked out fairly well and I really got a blessing others preparing the message. As long as we are under way I’m going to have a service every evening at 6. It was hard to tell exactly how many were present, but as near as we could tell it must have been 150 or more. I had it on the front of the ship and it made a beautiful sitting as we watched the sun going down to a fiery sky of many colored clouds. Dear, there is a soldier wants to see me about something so I think I will call this all for today. God bless you Dearest in all things. Be sure to give the folks my love.

 With my deepest Love now and forever,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3 

February 27, 1944

From February 23-27th Willis travelled by boat to Hawaii.  As the letters could not be sent, he wrote them in a series and sent them when he arrived.  

Sunday 2/27/44

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:-

Yesterday afternoon’s sailing was beautiful and the waters of the Pacific were such a beautiful deep blue. Later in the afternoon we ran into several rain squalls and that gave us the opportunity to see several rainbows. Before going to bed last night I stayed up on the top deck alone and watched the new moon peeking in and out among a few drifting clouds. Our ship seems to glide along so gracefully through the water. It all seemed to be like a dream. I wish you could have seen it for I know you would have enjoyed

Yank Magazine February 1944.

such splendor. Beholding all these things made me very conscious of the presence of God. I went to bed around 10 P.M. and had a very good nights sleep. I got up early this morning and went up to the top deck to watch the sunrise. It was indeed beautiful. In the east could be seen a rim of dark gray clouds and a few puffy white clouds drifting overhead-these turned to the most beautiful gold you could imagine just before the sun appeared from behind the dark gray clouds in the far east. In the far west and south could be seen several small rain squalls. As I looked to the sunrise I thought of you Dear and how much I love you and how much you mean to me. The same scene that was just rising on us was already at noon day where you were. I tried to imagine you just leaving church and talking to some of our many friends at North Shore. When you see any of our friends be sure to give them my love and best wishes.

There are to be several services aboard ship this morning-three Catholic, three Protestant and the Jewish service was yesterday morning. I will not write you anymore now until after services.

I went to all three Protestant services this morning and was rather disappointed because the most real gospel that was heard was the messages in the hymns and the prayer of one chaplain in one of the services. Darling, pray for a real concern on the behalf of the Chaplains. I know there are many men on this boat who have no saving knowledge whatsoever of the finished work of Christ for all men. It is a great encouragement to me to know you are continually praying for me and my work among the men. As you know, my whole desire is to truly represent Christ and lead others to Him. God bless you my Darling. I will write you more later.

I led a devotional service for the Protestants aboard this morning. I used as my text Acts 20:28 to the end of the chapter. The key verse was Acts 20:28.

It is growing much warmer and tomorrow I think I’ll dress in my fatigues.

I think I’ll close this letter and start another. It has been a week tomorrow since I received a letter from you and I have read your last few letters several times. I’m continually thanking God for your love and devotion which are always an inspiration to me.

 Always and only yours in Christ’s

redeeming love,

Willis

XOXOXOXOXO

Colossians 3:3

Philippians 1:3 forever

February 26, 1944

From February 23-27th Willis travelled by boat to Hawaii.  As the letters could not be sent, he wrote them in a series and sent them when he arrived.  

Presumably : February 26, 1944

4 – This is surely a beautiful Saturday morning. The sun is shining and only a few drifting clouds can be seen on the horizon. The ocean is quite calm this morning and only once in a while can you feel any rocking of the ship. The sun is becoming warmer and it is easy to tell we are getting into warmer climate. Lover, I was planning on writing some more last evening but they turned the lights out earlier than I expected so I was unable to finish what I had started to write you yesterday.

Men aboard a troop ship.

Sweetheart, since leaving the shores of the U.S.A. I have learned many things even though we have been aboard a ship.

I’ve noted so many things that will make good illustrations in messages to be used for young people and regular worship services.

Each day I am more convinced that Christ and His message is the only hope for our sin sick world. The condition of the world is only an indication of the disease of sin in the hearts and lives of men everywhere. The one ray of hope through all the turmoil and anxiety of this day is the assurance we have in God’s promise, “that He will even make the wrath of men praise His name.” My heart has been burdened  by the loose living of some who are supposed to be Christian gentlemen. I realize that there is many things in my life that are not pleasing to God, and my Dear I’m counting on your prayers for me as I daily live to let Christ have control in all the avenues of my being. All our professions of Christ are canceled by one deed of contrary and lose-living. I sincerely believe the hour has struck for a living that speaks of the fact that a man is a servant of God. So many are celebrating what Jesus did but very few are willing to surrender themselves to Christ to the extent of obeying His commandments. Jesus said the only proof of love to God was to obey His commands. And in the truest sense of the word we only have faith in the extent we obey Christ in our lives. Well my Dear, I’ll close for now and write you more later. God bless you, I love you so very much because you are such a consecrated Christian wife. And you are a constant source of inspiration to me to live as godly a life as is possible through true consecration.

February 25, 1944

From February 23-27th Willis travelled by boat to Hawaii.  As the letters could not be sent, he wrote them in a series and sent them when he arrived.  We are posting the sections on the dates he wrote them.

Troop ship carrying troops to war.

Presumably : February 25, 1944

Crossed the International Date line, so dates get a bit confusing

Sweetheart, My Dear:-

Dawn broke a little before seven this morning. I went above as soon as I had shaved. We have a solid overcast and the ocean is still rather rough. But it was roughest around midnight. In spite of our ship’s size she was tossed quite freely by the great waves. We had a very good breakfast and after coming back to my stateroom I read “My Utmost,” “The Secret Place,” the Bible and “Abundant Living.” Well Darling, I’ll write you more later, for now I want to do some more reading of my Bible.

February 24, 1944

From February 23-27th Willis travelled by boat to Hawaii.  As the letters could not be sent, he wrote them in a series and sent them when he arrived.  

Presumably : February 24, 1944

My Dearest Darling:-

After a good nights sleep I think I’ll drop you a few lines. Our cargo is all loaded and they have loaded all of our troops. We are

Troop Transport.

supposed to sail at 1300. The sunrise was very beautiful this morning. The higher mountains were covered with many feet of snow and these last views of the U.S.A. will linger long in my heart. Our ship inspires confidence by her very appearance. It may be of interest to you that this is her maiden voyage and is a wonderful example of Yankee engineering and ingenuity. Our ship has been out on a shake down cruise-but this is her first voyage fully loaded.

We have been out 4 hours and 45 minutes now and the last silhouette of the U.S. has disappeared into the waters of the mighty Pacific. All we can see everywhere is water. For the last hour or so we have been in rather heavy seas. Our boat being large and well stabilized has cut much of the lurching of the smaller ships. However, there has been enough motion to make some of the troops and passengers seasick. We blacken out the ship at sunset and all lights are put out in state rooms-so that means early to bed. I will close for now my Darling, but remember as the miles grow that separate us my love increases for you. God bless you today my Dear.

Forever yours in Christ’s abundant love,

Willis

XOXOXOXOXO

Colossians 3:3

February 23, 1944

From February 23-27th Willis travelled by boat to Hawaii.  As the letters could not be sent, he wrote them in a series and sent them when he arrived.  We will be posting them on the day they were written.

February 23, 1944

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:-

Troop Ship.

I’ve been thinking of you a whole lot today my Dear, and as you know I love you more than ever. I’m continually praising God for you and your precious love. The assurance of Christ’s love for us and the joy and beauty of your love is a combination which gives a piece of heart in face of the unknown future. Thank God that all our tomorrows are known to Him and if we are trusting as we ought, the future still has the best yet to be.

We arrived by train and bus at the Port and loaded on our boat. We had our first meal aboard at 4:00 P.M. and because of no sleep the night before I went to bed at 7:30 P.M. Well Lover, I’ll close for now but remember tonight I am more in love with you than ever before. God bless you my Dearest in all things.

Yours and yours alone in the wonderful

love of the Lord Jesus Christ,

Willis

XOXOXOXO

Colossians 3:3

Ruth 1:16-18

“My Utmost” is surely good these last few days, isn’t it Dear?

September 29, 1943

9/29/43

Nearing Ogden, Utah

Gal 2:20

Good Morning Darling:-

Just had breakfast and the scenery is surely beautiful. I had a very good night’s sleep. Got up at 5:15 A.M. This day finds me loving you more and grateful to our Heavenly Father for giving me such a wonderful wife and companion. It looks like it’s going to be a beautiful day.

With All of My Love,

Willis


2nd Postcard of the day

9/29/43

Nearing Lund, Utah

Romans 12:1-2

Sweetheart:-

Darling, I’ve seen a lot of dry country. And I’m thinking of you and loving you more and more.

With All of My Love,

Willis


9/30/43

Nearing San Bernadino

Dearest Sweetheart:-

It is another beautiful day and we are going through quite a maintenance district now. We are suppose to be in L.A. in a little less than three hours. This afternoon will be a busy one getting settled, but if at all possible I’ll write you a letter tonight. Dear, this is our 15 month anniversary and I love you more than can be realized with the finite mind. But God be praised, through Christ our love knows no bounds or limitations.

Yours ever in His Love,

Willis

John 10:10

Col 3:1-4